30 April, 2011

Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF EPISODE 2

Almost as sought after as Episode 3 (of a completely different series on a different continent involving a crowbar)... here comes episode 2 of Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF where Paris Hilton's only limit is... your answer in the comments

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFrmem0W91E
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NboHvK2Kww
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EfMF4-VBQQ0

James Bond in Dubai in a game

Late last year Goldeneye 007 was released for the Wii, it interestingly features a segment of its story in Dubai.

Not much to see here, the game is completely devoid of kandouras or pretty much any cultural content (at all) that I can see, and lots of terrorists at the Annual Military Arms Fair in Dubai (at least according to this there's an Annual Military Arms Fair in Dubai... and its filled with terrorists)

Interesting to watch if you're interested in the not interesting. (some random walkthrough on YouTube of the level)

27 April, 2011

Almaz by Momo

And so, we tiptoed through Harvey Nichols, and the leprechauns behaved impeccably. I cannot say the same for Hambone, who kept on looking at the prices on the menswear, and exclaiming altogether too loudly, "Nine-Hundred Dirhams for a T-SHIRT? Are you KIDDING me?" Embarrasing. Even the children were unimpressed, and walked faster in an "I'm not with him..." kind of way. We had to ask where Momo was - it is tucked away, in the far right corner of the very top floor - just past the gold-plated hand towels and diamond-encrusted soap dishes. We arrive at Almaz, fittingly, the arabic word for 'diamond', but for me, it is always Momo - because the name reminds me of Greg Malouf's Melbourne restaurant - and my introduction to a love affair with Moroccan food.

On a Friday at 1pm, it's quiet - blissfully so. The cavernous interior is dimly lit with trios of large baubles encased in Saracenic star-patterned crochet. All chairs are plush - the children want to sit on the stage area, which is in the shape of a majlis, and has circular tin tabletops patterned in reflection of the lights. But they are for drinking only, says the waitress - the seats are too low. Instead we are led over the painted floor to a couch and armchairs, and Goldilocks proceeds to erect a cushion-castle while we order fruit mocktails and lemon and mint juice.

Read more on the hedonista here...

26 April, 2011

Geekfest Dubai returns!

And it's going to be the last Geekfest at The Shelter before it moves to the glitz and glam of Media City.

So come and have some fun with complete strangers, and attend talks, play games, and put faces to Twitter handles.

Details of course can be found over at Fake Plastic Souks - see you there!

25 April, 2011

Five Emiratis held for threatening UAE security

"Abu Dhabi: Five Emiratis have been arrested on charges of endangering the country's security and undermining the public order, it was announced on Monday.
UAE Attorney General Salem Saeed Kubaish said the Emiratis were arrested on the order of the public prosecution and were questioned in the presence of their lawyers.
He said that Ahmad Mansour Ali Abdullah Al Abd Al Shehi, Nasser Ahmad Khalfan Bin Gaith, Fahad Salem Mohammad Salem Dalk, Hassan Ali Al Khamis, all Emiratis, and Ahmad Abdul Khaleq Ahmad who does not carry identification papers, were held in custody for investigation on charges of committing crimes of instigation, breaking laws and perpetrating acts that pose a threat to the state security, undermining the public order, opposing the government system, and insulting the President, the Vice-President of the UAE and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi."

--more here: Gulf News: Five Emiratis held for threatening UAE security

21 April, 2011

Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF

Paris Hilton's Dubai BFF was filmed in Dubai last year but was never released because of legal problems.

You can now enjoy the show via the youtubes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LxHPArq25o (this is the link for part 2 of the first episode, the first part is stupid.)

Best show ever?


Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CFg5CWQlpg
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LxHPArq25o
Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mMeo6Zo5dQ
Part 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZk6d36xEVA
Part 5: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG__YKgNJ34
Part 6: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpEWI1zSOXI
Part 7: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VXJJ_wlO7M

I must announce to the world that this TV show is the first to not feature any Dubai stereotypes.

17 April, 2011

TEDxAbuDhabiU - Dare to...

I thought some of you might be interested in this. This is the press release announcing TEDxAbuDhabiU.

"Abu Dhabi university is proud to announce that the first ever TEDxAbuDhabiU will be hosted on its campus in Abu Dhabi on 23 April 2011 from 10am to 3pm.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. TEDx, one of its spin-off initiatives, offers individuals or groups a way to organize local, independent TED-like events around the world. In this spirit, a group of dedicated people from all over the UAE have been working tirelessly behind the scenes for more than four months to bring TEDxAbuDhabiU home to the UAE.

The TEDxAbuDhabiU theme for 2011 is “Dare to…”, and you are invited to come and listen to people who have taken the dare to create their lives in the way that they want to live and to explore ways in which they could dare to dream. Over the course of five exciting, entertaining, and inspiring hours, you will have the opportunity to not only hear about people doing extraordinary things, but to also be with them as they dare to explore the emotions and motivations that propelled them through the joys and challenges of creating their lives. And ultimately the question is, what will you dare to do in your life?

Speakers at TEDxAbuDhabiU 2011 include regional and international personalities, thinkers and artists such as Aida Al Busaidy, Ahmed Arshi , Alia Yunis, Dan Stuart, Ghassan Al Katheri, Jacqueline Ghose, Jonathan Ali Khan, Laurel Moore, Magnus Nystedt, Omar Samra, Sarah Mavrinac, Taryam Al Subaihi, Ali Al Shamsi, and Sumayyah Al Suwaidi."

16 April, 2011

The Source

When I first came to Dubai for a little look-see with my husband, a weekend break to decide if we could ever live here, we were taken around by a French Relocation Expert. This was in 2007, when Dubai was heaving in every imaginable direction - up, out, down, in. The hopes and dreams were even higher than the skyscrapers they were designing, and every man and his dog wanted their piece of the Dubai pie. The population was greater than it is now, and everyone was living in half the number of dwellings. Laborers were working 14 hours a day in 47ºC heat, then being shipped home to the labour camps in cattle trucks. House maids were being paid 500AED a month to work 16 hours, 7 days a week. Beautiful women were flying in from all over the globe to try and land themselves a Sheikh, prostituting themselves, knowing that just a small hand-out could set them up for life. Corruption was rife - the options to recieve an invitation to buy land were being sold for millions, because Cityscape product was sold out in a matter of minutes. Everyone was flipping and tripping, morals slipping, taking their turn on the harem-scarem magic carpet ride.

Nadira had told us we must "swallow our snake" to live in Dubai. I think it must be a French saying that does not translate well, but I will always remember it. She said that this was a land of golden opportunity for the ones who were already blessed with opportunity, but it was a den of iniquity for those who were not. We would love it here, but only if we walked around with our eyes closed. (She was shortly thereafter sacked, probably to blissfully return to the land of the banned burqa and 7-hour work days)

She was right. People like me would die in this environment if we did not have the luxuries we receive to prop us up. We are simply not meant to live in the desert. And so, if we decide to stay here, we must wear the guilt. First, we must accept that our environmental impact is unforgivable, but unavoidable. Halas - it is done. Second, we merge our values with the local ones - we take a maid, we stop double-taking when we see workers in the sun in mid-summer from our air-conditioned SUVs. Things will improve Insha'Allah, and it becomes something that has nothing to do with us.

I've already touched on this in my 'Despicable Me' post. Don't think for a moment that because I am a Jumeira Jane, I am walking around oblivious to the greater problems of this world, just because I blog about free range eggs and organic farmers markets. It's far from the truth. I think about my greater transgressions daily, but the more I think, the more helpless I feel, the worse I feel for doing nothing. Then my own life interrupts me. I have to pick up the kids, do the shopping, help with homework, give a swimming lesson, cook the dinner, put the kids to bed, call my mum. By the time I think about the world again, it is time for a glass of wine, and that helps me forget all about it. Snake swallowed.

A place where I can make decisions on my impact, whether it be global or local, is what food I provide my family with. And so when I was given the opportunity to visit the Abu Dhabi Organic Farm (the retail outlet is named Al Mazaraa), I excitedly packed Lion into the car for the journey. I had read this article recently, as well as having a comment from an anti-local reader on my Farmers Market post, and I wanted to see what the deal was, ask the questions, do the math, and make my own decisions. Not only that, I wanted my son to see the impact and method of farming in the desert.

read more on The Hedonista here...

15 April, 2011

Ahmed Mansour, Fahad Al Shehhi & Dr Nasser bin Ghaith Arrest Analysis

Here's some interesting stuff...

"Context on arrest of Dr Nasser bin Ghaith in the UAE:

1. Since writing on Saturday http://www.twitlonger.com/show/9ogqrh with regard to the arrest of Ahmed Mansoor, the UAE’s internal dynamic has shifted.
2. The first arrest of @Ahmed_Mansoor was met with mixed responses by the UAE community, much of it based on speculation as to why he was arrested.
3. There were three types of criticism against Mansoor. A common accusation circulating, that Mansoor frequently directly criticised the ruling families is one that is enough, in the legal system, to merit an arrest.
4. Reuters has just reported that the arrest was related to a possession of alcohol, again an illegal act for a citizen. However, that Mansoor was both expecting the police well in advance and had called them formally after security outside his apartment showed up, leaves unanswered questions as to that charge.
5. Another type of criticism levelled against Mansoor was attributable to questions of loyalty, of Iranian origins i.e. loyal to Iran, or that he belonged to the Ikhwan. These accusations swiftly became redundant on the basis of subsequent arrests."
--more here: Twitter: @habibahmed

(link via Emirates Economist)

"The arrests over the last week of three pro-democracy activists in the United Arab Emirates should come as no surprise. Having sent troops to participate in the Saudi-led crackdown in Bahrain and having supported Egypt's Hosni Mubarak until his final days in office, the UAE regime has already signaled its strong preference for the status quo and its fear of greater Arab freedoms.

Previously a collection of federated, tribe-based, traditional monarchies, led by the well-liked Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan until his death in 2004, the UAE has since been morphing into a sophisticated police state led by Zayed's two principal sons from their Abu Dhabi power base -- the UAE's oil-rich, wealthiest emirate. Unlike their father, who had to consult with other tribal elders and powerful merchants across the entire country, the new rulers now govern with zero accountability over an increasingly urbanized and Abu Dhabi-dependent population, the movements and communications of which are now carefully monitored and censored."
--more here: Foreign Policy: The Making of a Police State

(link via dr_davidson on twitter)

"With a tribal leader legacy, and credited with founding the UAE federation and harnessing its oil wealth for economic development, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan was generally well liked by his people. He had no real need to implement meaningful political reform during his lengthy reign. Instead the plan seemed to be to hold back this particular card so that his succeeding sons would be able to offer reform as their particular ‘gift’ to the people. However, since Zayed’s death in 2004 no such reform has taken place. Zayed’s principal sons – notably the ruler of Abu Dhabi and his crown prince/half brother – have instead played around with the UAE’s largely ineffectual Federal National Council. In 2006 elections were held for half of its 40 seats, but only a few thousand UAE nationals were eligible to vote, and even these were carefully screened. In early 2011, announcements were made that fresh elections would be held, but again the number of contested seats would be limited, only small numbers able to vote.

Seen as the final straw by many educated UAE nationals, especially given the dramatic pro-democracy revolutions sweeping the rest of the Arab world and the UAE government’s rather distasteful involvement in suppressing the Bahraini protests, two petitions were duly signed in March. Both called for universal suffrage and a fully elected national council. Some individuals went further and made public calls for a gradual shift to constitutional monarchy."
--more here: Current Intelligence: Democracy Crackdown in the UAE

(link via dr_davidson on twitter

14 April, 2011

Inmate "beaten to death" at Bur Dubai police station

A British tourist was beaten to death by officers in a Dubai police station after being arrested for swearing, it was claimed yesterday.

Lee Bradley Brown, 39, was on holiday at a £1,000-a-night hotel in the Arab state when he was thrown into a filthy cell.

Police sources say he was ‘badly beaten up’ by a group of police officers, leaving him unconscious on the floor.

Inmates told how they watched officers bundle him into a body-bag and drag him out of the building.

During Mr Brown’s six days in Bur Dubai police station, guards refused to give him enough food and water and did not let him see a lawyer, it is alleged.

His sister learned about the attack when she received a phone call from an inmate on Sunday, claiming her brother had been beaten.

The prisoner found her phone number on a photocopy of her brother’s passport which had been left behind in the cell.

She contacted the British Embassy in Dubai, and on Monday an official was sent to visit Mr Brown at the police station.

But the official was turned away by an officer who claimed Mr Brown did not want to see him and had ‘declined consular assistance’.

His sister, who did not want to be named, received another phone call from the inmate saying he had seen her brother’s body being taken out in a body-bag.

A source told the Daily Mail last night: ‘He suffered a really bad beating which must have caused some terrible internal injuries.

‘The poor bloke stood no chance at all. At one stage he was thrown against the concrete wall of a cell and landed badly.

‘Then the guards tried to hush it up and pretend nothing had happened.’
-- more here: Daily Mail: Briton 'beaten to death' in a Dubai police cell after being arrested for swearing

Link found via detainedindubai on twitter

10 April, 2011

Ahmed Mansour posts translated

There are some interesting posts on the blog http://alemarat.wordpress.com regarding the case of the recently detained "political activist" Ahmed Mansour. All translated via Google Translate (Please keep in mind these are automated, computer translations from Arabic and as such the meaning of them may be different to their original texts.)

References to "Discussion Forum UAE" are most likely to the long-time banned UAE political website/forum www.uaehewar.net

"Reasons for the detention of a reliable source (not arrested because of the petition as some claim, but for having to establish a forum under the person of the President and members of the Supreme Council of the federal and prejudice to the sovereignty and the unity of the Union and its tribulations and calling for a coup and cooperation with foreign countries) and would apply to the investigation of all Webmaster Forum. Praise be to God."
--more here: alemarat.wordpress.com: Exclusively from a trusted source charges against Ahmed Mansour

"In encroachment traveled and frank on the State of United Arab Emirates and the United Arab unity emerging from the new forum Ahmed Mansour (Discussion Forum UAE) to call to unite to overthrow the government in the state and change their institutions and that heads the state's experience and competence, not the tribe, and in infringement of a clear and explicit for the unity of the state, its head of state.
They changed the official emblem of the State and the prejudice and the launch of its slogan reflects the killing and bloodshed and nicknamed him "the new federal"

He also Ahmed Mnsouromenendah distorting the history of the UAE - the claim that parents and grandparents had acknowledged the Senate "against their" because in that period who did not pay allegiance was brought iron hot and ebullition his eyes or he was tortured or assassinated, and the rulers were taking the royalty of fishing the sea fishing out of date."
--more here alemarat.wordpress.com: Ahmed Mansour: must unite to overthrow the government in the state and Tgiermwssadtha to head the state's experience does not draw upon the tribe and the U.S. firms to give us tips on how to manage the affairs of the country after the coup.

"Surprised by the drummers of the dissension a storm of anger Arab Emirates on their pages in Facebook, making them the prohibition of any Emirates who defends the Head of State from participating in their pages in a move to deprive of freedom of opinion and expression for Emiratis.

Was reached in less than 24 hours the number of Emiratis voting that Ahmad Mansour traitor and should be tried with all supervisors Discussion Forum 381 United Arab Emirates, which is to increase.

Note that the UAE and Emirati had gathered for a revolt against the foolish under the slogan, "but Khalifa, we all Khalifa" in response to what was published by Ahmed Mansour, its Forum of exposure insult to the person of the President and members of the Supreme Council and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and the Senate.

It was agreed that calls to sedition Emiratis in the Discussion Forum of insults and attacks on the owners of Highness and demand come together to overthrow the regime and the use of Balomrikan to manage the affairs of the country - is a invitation invite sedition and treason Do not call the reform of the UAE and the street unabated deal with these calls.

It also condemned Alamaratieon invitations owners sedition such as Ahmad Mansour, Dr. Mohamed Al Mansouri, Hamid Alkamiti claimants intervention the European Union in Shan Gulf and their appeal to them to intervene, he said Emiratis that this appeal to non-guardian invitation are foolish, so why not call upon the head of state and why direct foreign intervention and what is the nature of matchmaking, including and the European Union.

He also rejected what Alamaratieon reference statement and those who in good to refuse what they are saying that infringe on human rights in Bahrain and Oman. He said that the young rebels led by the Gulf Cooperation Council met and agreed on the unity of the Gulf and the Oman and Bahrain support it are these indefinite article in order to proclaim otherwise.

Ba note of those who worked on the recent publication of photographs of the events of Oman, in a non-objective and biased the outlaws in Amman and published confidential letters to the security authorities of Oman in their pages in an attempt to mobilize public opinion on the Sultanate beloved in the orientation direction contrary to the leaders of the Gulf.

As they were Almjychen of the dispute between the UAE and Oman in the position reflects the ill-maker and exit of the wisdom and tried to stir up sectarian strife between the two peoples.

He appealed to the UAE government that the Emiratis pursuing approach caliph Omar Ibn Khattab may Allah be pleased with him in the magnitude of sedition and not by the introduction of Osman Blinh may Allah be pleased with him and his dialogue with them, where they raised the slogan "What harm life on the magnitude of civil strife, but the harm Osman dialogue with them)

They also appealed to Gulf leaders to unite in the face of European colonialism, the U.S. and expose their plans and the Declaration of confessions in all media and to take political steps against those involved to stop it when alone Might Gulf uncompromising

God save the Gulf States"
--more here: alemarat.wordpress.com: In less than 24 hours: 381 vote that the United Arab Emirates Ahmed Mansour, a traitor and should be tried

3rd pro-democracy activist detained by UAE authorities

"Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (CNN) -- Three activists have been detained in the United Arab Emirates in the past three days, according to a fellow Emirati activist.


The third, Nasser bin Ghaith, an Emirati writer who also maintains a website, was detained Sunday, al-Mansoori said.
Officials in the UAE have not responded to persistent queries regarding the detention of Mansoor. CNN has recently queried officials about the other detentions.
Mansoor was part of a group of 133 nationals who petitioned the president on March 9 for direct elections. The group included academics, former government officials, journalists and activists."
--more here: CNN.com: 3 UAE activists detained since Friday

From the Dubai School of Government website...
"Dr. Nasser bin Ghaith is an Emirati financial analyst specializing in economic trading blocs. Since 2006, he has served as the legal advisor for the UAE Armed Forces/Directorate of General Purchasing, responsible for negotiating contracts with major global defense firms such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, and Northrop Grumman. He is currently a professor at the UAE Armed Forces Staff College, as well as a lecturer of International Economic Law at La Sorbonne, Abu Dhabi."
-- more here: Dubai School of Government: Nasser bin Ghaith on the Economics of Transparency

Thanks to John Chilton for the heads up


Some more information concerning the case of Ahmed Mansour (the first to be detained) via Kkalmarri on twitter (Google translated from Arabic)

"Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim: Details of the case of Ahmed Mansour found at the Office of the Attorney General in the emirate of Dubai FreeAhmedM # # uae # UAEeslaah
about an hour ago via Twittelator
The back of the right Yamtablin Dahi Khalfan Tamim: Ahmed Mansour was arrested at the request of the prosecution against the backdrop of the UAE criminal case FreeAhmedM # # uae
about a hour ago via Twittelator"


"DUBAI / / Blogger Ahmed Mansour has been arrested in connection with a criminal case, police confirmed today.

Lt Gen Dahi Khalfan Tamim, the Dubai Police chief, said the arrest was made in the emirate based on a request from the UAE attorney general.

"We were asked by the Federal Public prosecution to arrest him in connection with a criminal case and the case has been referred to him," he said.

However, Lt Gen Tamim did not disclose the nature of the charge, saying the details of the case are with the UAE attorney general."
-- more here: The National: Dubai blogger and activist Ahmed Mansour arrested

UAE detains second pro-democracy activist

"DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Authorities in the United Arab Emirates detained a second pro-democracy advocate just two days after they took a leading reformist blogger into custody, a prominent lawyer and political activist said Sunday.
Fahad Salem al-Shehhy was detained late Saturday in Ajman, an emirate north of Dubai, after participating in an online forum calling for democratic reforms in the UAE, said Mohammed al-Mansouri, an activist.
The United Arab Emirates is an alliance of seven sheikdoms run by ruling families where political activity is severely restricted.
The forum had been run by Ahmed Mansour, a blogger and human rights activist, who himself was arrested on Friday in Dubai after he signed a petition in favor of an elected parliament.
Police and government officials have not responded to calls for comment."
--more here: Yahoo! News: UAE detains second pro-democracy activist

08 April, 2011

Activist Detained in the UAE

Ahmed Mansoor, a man who signed the petition to the UAE government asking for universal suffrage has reportedly been detained...

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Authorities in the United Arab Emirates detained a blogger and rights activist who had said he’s gotten death threats for calling for political freedoms and an elected parliament in the Gulf nation.

Ahmed Mansour was detained Friday at his home in Dubai, his wife and a colleague told The Associated Press. Mansour’s wife, Nadia, said 10 policemen — some wearing civilian clothes — searched their house for three hours before taking her husband into custody and seizing two laptops and several documents.

“They were calm and polite, but they did not allow me to speak to my husband while they were in the house,” she said. A female officer was guarding her while others searched the house and questioned her husband. They refused to tell her where they were taking him, she said.
--more here: Washington Post: UAE detains Dubai democracy activist, blogger who called for elected parliament in Gulf nation

According to the Financial Times, Ahmed's Employer, Thuraya/Etisalat tried to double his salary and send him off to Pakistan...
"Last week, Mr Mansoor received death threats on social media sites. He was asked by his state-backed employer this week to leave the UAE and take up a position in Pakistan.

State-owned Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat) requested that Mr Mansoor, who works for the satellite telecoms company Thuraya, should move to Etisalat’s Pakistan office as soon as possible.

“Thuraya have asked me to move to Pakistan on a salary worth twice as much as my current package. But I have rejected this request, as I am an employee of Thuraya, and there is no need for me to go there,” he said before his arrest.

“It’s definitely aimed to remove me from the country, and if I don’t accept I will fear I will be fired.”"
-- more here: FT.com: UAE activist detained after death threats

From Ahmed's Blog:
"The security guard of my building came to my apartment at 3:50 am few minutes ago. I could tell immediately that there is something wrong. i reluctantly opened and asked him what? he said there are three policemen waiting for you in the main entrance, i told him are you sure they are policemen? he said yes. they told me to tell to go and see them down, i told him what they need? he said they say something related to the car. i told him then send them up to my apartment. closed the door and called Dubai police immediately, and i told him the story that i was told by the guard, and i told them that i have been receiving death threats and that i can not go down like this. they told me you are right and we will send some one to check, stay home. after minutes somebody from Dubai police called me from his mobile and asked me guide him to the place, i did, he told me i will call you back.
he called me back after minutes telling that they are suspecting your car and would like to take it. i told him if they want to take the car they can do that in the morning, not 2:50 am. or they are the State Security making their old trick i further said. he said now will you come down or not? i told him if they want the car they can take it, he said what about your belongings, i said there is nothing valuable there, they can take it.
this method is well known method of the State Security because they do not have an arrest warrant, they make such tricks to bring you down and take you. i'm ready to go, but they should either do it the right way or by force.
I refused to go down from my apartment and started writing this email. not sure if they took the car or not, i will not soon know. the scenario is that if they take it, they can put whatever they like inside and make a case against me. i'm declaring here that my car is clean of unlawful material, it has a swiss style knife that put there today after receiving 6 death threats and some papers of no great importance.

Ahmed Mansoor"
--more here: جاؤوا لاعتقالي اليوم الساعة 3:50 صباحاً They came to take me in at 3:30 am today :مواطن إماراتي مغلوب على أمره

(links found via dr_davidson on twitter)

U.S. warns UAE for being just a bit too full of itself

The Chicago Dope has posted a pretty funny satire piece on its site;

"The United States issued a warning to the United Arab Emirates on Thursday for what it called “provocative self-confidence”.

According to the U.S. State Department, the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, left unscathed by recent turmoil in the Middle East, “is looking a little too comfortable given the state of the world.” The UAE has been recently designated by the U.S. State Department as a “pompously rogue nation”, refusing to succumb to instability like the rest of the region and is accused of inciting feelings of inferiority among its neighbors.

Both the United States and the United Nations have each condemned the UAE’s excessive use of political calm along with its defiant flaunting of economic strength and high per capita income.

On Wednesday, Emirati Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum further increased regional tensions by announcing a $1.5 billion investment in electricity and water infrastructure projects in the underdeveloped areas of the northern emirates. This prompted the administration to again respond with strong condemnation.

“This type of provocation is not productive and only leads to heightened levels of envy and resentment in the Persian Gulf region,” Carney said.

According to the White House, the United States is considering seeking a UN resolution designed to point out the many faults and lingering insecurities that the UAE likely has, but won’t admit to, internationally.
-- more here: The Chicago Dope: U.S. warns UAE for being just a bit too full of itself

Make sure to check out the comments section where more than a few people from the UAE have failed to understand that the piece is satire.

Here are some choice comments:

"LOOL.. US never fails to LOL me.. but this time its beyond red line..

i don’t know about the newspaper that spread this out.. but i believe that an apology is required to UAE for all this shit.."

"I searched the white house website and googled the hell out of Clinton and Jay Carney and did not find the statements published above! except in this website.

I doubt that Clinton and the white house will issue such stupid statements. The last statement on the white house website was thanking the UAE for its help in Libya.

Well.. if it is true.. then it is apparent that US is the one who envies the UAE. Or they want something from the UAE and they want to apply pressure on it using such statements.

It is bizarre and the double standards from US are true. If the UAE is starving its people the US will condemn it…. If the UAE is spending money on infrastructure and people are wealthy US will also condemn!!!!! "

"What seems to be the problem here? Is it that the UAE is still able to invest in infrastructure? (btw, not that we need to justify it, it was a MUST to invest in electricity and water infrastructure projects in the northern emirates, it wasn’t a luxurious plan.

Or is it that other countries in the region are having major problems? or that life in UAE is calm and both locals and expats working here are happy?


Btw, I won’t send the link to any of my friends, i don’t believe in FREE advertising :p

"Fuck off usa"

"I find it beyond ridiculous that you , U.S , stick your butts into other countries’ business !! You have a WHOLE NATION who is CORRUPTED in ALL sorts of way that need your ” Consideration”. You desperate interference only make us realize how fortunate of a country/citizens we are !

P.S , a piece of advice , get your facts right !!!"

"The only country that is full itself is america,, so what if we spend 1.5 billion on infrastructure projects???
The UAE is a small country but it gives to charity every year more than the US ever will..
Who died and made america the leader of the world??
They seem to stick theire nose in everything"

There is a thread on a certain UAE forum that seems to point at the website as factual too as well as a post on banatzayed.com with even more absurd comments

05 April, 2011

A Week by the Lake

I had lunch al fresco today, and for the first time this year, the air was marginally on the wrong side of comfortable. It may be one of the last outdoor lunches I get before its too hot.

Yes, that's right, summer is on the way. Most would think that Dubai residents would regard the approaching summer with almighty dread - the Armageddon skies, melting roads, boiling temperaments - it's not for the faint-hearted, especially for those without the blessing of air-conditioning, for whom the summer can often mean illness and/or death. The body is simply not built to live 24/7 at 48º C. But for the fortunate few, Summer in Dubai actually means Summer out of Dubai. We look forward to it, because it means an extended holiday on the continent dahlings.

For an Australian, it is actually more expensive to go home than it is to fly to Western Europe and rent a house for a few weeks, and for the last few years, that's exactly what we've done. I've just booked this year's jaunt and I'm thoroughly in the mood, so prepare yourself for a series of French and Italian travel posts "a la Sarah"

Let's see if you can guess where I'm talking about - read more here...